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9 Must See Humanitarian Photographers

Humanitarian locations often are hard to reach and prone to conflict. For most of us, it’s hard to imagine what happens at such unusual destinations.

Humanitarian photographers

Humanitarian photographers use their cameras as tools of exploration. A way of showing us what happens at locations we haven’t visited ourselves. Their images are proof that photography matters, especially regarding humanitarian work. Listed below are nine inspiring humanitarian photographers that took us on a journey by providing powerful and emotional humanitarian photographs. Their images are often placed in global media, but you can also simply take a look at their website for a portfolio. 

“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.”

Marc Riboud

  1. David duChemin
    This is a world & humanitarian assignment photographer, best-selling author, digital publisher, and international workshop leader whose nomadic and adventurous life fuels his fire to create and share. Based in Victoria, Canada, when he’s home, David leads a nomadic life chasing compelling images on all 7 continents.
  2. Esther Havens
    Esther Havens is a humanitarian photographer capturing stories that transcend a person's circumstances and reveal their true strength. For many years she has worked on social-awareness campaigns with organizations such as charity: water, TOMS Shoes, Warby Parker and Malaria No More.
  3. Lisa Kristine
    This San Francisco based photographer is specialized in indigenous peoples worldwide. Through her work, Lisa wishes to encourage a dialogue about the beauty, diversity, and hardship of our interlocking world. The more meaning born in the images, the deeper that dialogue may be. Lisa Kristine aims to enhance her viewer's awareness and engage them in a visual journey that is also a questioning of our existence.
  4. Karl Grobl
    Karl is one of the world’s most respected and experienced humanitarian photographers. Specializing in the photographic documentation of relief efforts and development work of NGOs worldwide, Karl has shot for more than 80 different NGOs in over 50 countries. His images have appeared in publications such as Newsweek, CNN, Geo, Town and Country magazine and The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
  5. John Cairns
    John is a professional photographer specializing in portraits, documentary photojournalism, and social justice & humanitarian photography. He lives in Oxford but frequently works in London and all over the UK. He is often commissioned to photograph overseas. His photos have been used by CNN, The New York Times, The Observer, The Radio Times, The Telegraph, the Times of India, The Times of Israel, The Independent, and El Mercurio in Chile.
  6. Kate Lord
    She’s passionate about helping non-profits and small businesses craft their visual voice. While working for NBC and The Wall Street Journal, she didn’t like that she wasn’t able to circle back to tell the stories of the people and organizations striving to make their communities stronger in the aftermath. That’s why she chose to head out on her own to find these stories and support the organizations and small businesses behind them.
  7. Daniel Hayduk
    Aid organizations like CBM (Christian Blind Mission) regularly rely on Daniel to compassionately document their advocacy work across Africa and news outlets like the AFP, BBC and the UN's Integrated Regional Information Network trust me to accurately relay information. He is a firm believer in using the power of visual storytelling to successfully convey work being done by NGOs and humanitarian agencies
  8. Bryan Watt
    Bryan and his wife Leila Srour, a pediatrician, have been living in the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Laos) from 2002 to 2013, are constantly on the road with no home base. He joins us in our goal of helping those in need. He’s able to assist the organizations that are actually helping vulnerable people. He assists with photographs that create a sense of purpose and cohesiveness, raise credibility, and share accomplishments and successes with donors.
  9. Colby Brown
    A photographer, photo educator and author based out of Eastern Pennsylvania. Specializing in landscape, travel and humanitarian photography, his photographic portfolio spans the four corners of the globe. Throughout his work, one can see that he combines his love of the natural world with his fascination of the world’s diverse cultures.


While we might see a lot of locations due to our humanitarian travels, we haven’t nearly seen all places where humanitarian help is needed. Thanks to the brave humanitarian photographers mentioned above, we’re able to get a peek of what’s happening at such locations. We’re proud of each and every humanitarian photographer mentioned on this list. Are you interested in humanitarian photography? Be sure to take a look at our blog post about powerful humanitarian photographs.